Argyropelecus aculeatus

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Lovely hatchetfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Stomiiformes
Family: Sternoptychidae
Subfamily: Sternoptychinae
Genus: Argyropelecus
Species: A. aculeatus
Binomial name
Argyropelecus aculeatus
Valenciennes, 1850

The lovely hatchetfish or Atlantic silver hatchetfish (Argyropelecus aculeatus) is a species of fish in the Sternoptychidae family. It may exceed 70 millimetres (2.8 in) standard length (SL). It lives in the mesopelagic zone of all oceans and performs diel vertical migration.[1] A. aculeatus feeds on a large range of prey items; in the Gulf of Mexico ostracods and copepods dominated the diet of small individuals (<30 mm SL) and euphausiids, molluscs, and fish the diet of larger ones.[2] The silvery coloration and bioluminescence of the lovely hatchetfish allows it to hide from predators and prey in the down-welling light of the twilight zone.[3]


  1. ^ Baird, R. C. (1971). "The systematics, distribution, and zoogeography of the marine hatchetfishes (family Sternoptychidae)". Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 142: 1–128. 
  2. ^ Hopkins, Thomas L.; Ronald C. Baird (1985). "Feeding ecology of four hatchetfishes (Sternoptychidae) in the eastern Gulf of Mexico". Bulletin of Marine Science. 36 (2): 260–277. 
  3. ^ Dianne J. Bray, 2011, Lovely Hatchetfish, Argyropelecus aculeatus, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 07 Oct 2014,